Baby Flying on Parent's Lap Gets Thrown Across Airplane on Terrifying Flight

Horrifying 56

Traveling with young children is rarely pleasant, but it becomes an even bigger ordeal when the plane experiences scary, and sometimes dangerous, bouts of turbulence. Five United Airlines passengers were hospitalized in Montana on Monday and an infant was thrown from a parent's arms when the plane suddenly dropped as it was preparing to make a landing. Thank goodness the baby was unharmed despite landing two rows back, though you can only imagine the fright both child and parent felt.

The airline is reporting that three crew members and two passengers were injured -- one woman hit her head so hard on the ceiling that she cracked the overhead panel! As of yesterday, all but one flight attendant had been released from the hospital. The baby who was thrown was NOT among the passengers taken to the hospital.

More From The Stir: 10 Great Tips for Flying With Babies (From a Mom Who Learned the Hard Way)

If you've flown with a baby, you know that FAA regulations allow adults to hold one child on their laps during the flight. Of course, this is helpful in that it allows parents to avoid paying full fare for a seat for their very young child. But an incident like the one that took place on United Airlines should open our eyes to the possibility that lap riding may not be the safest option for our children.

I actually avoided flying with my little one when she was an infant because the idea of keeping her on my lap the entire time seemed insane. If sudden turbulence strikes, you can shoot right up out of your seat without warning. You aren't prepared and holding your child tight enough to prevent injury -- and even if I were holding my child tight, I don't trust that I'm strong enough to keep her from getting hurt.

Moms and dads traveling with babies should be given the bulkhead seat. It should be required that they have a car seat or small bassinet with them so that the child has a safer place to sit when turbulence occurs. If this isn't feasible, parents should seriously consider paying for an extra seat -- many airlines offer discounted rates for children under a certain age, usually 2 -- and strap the child in a car seat on the actual plane seat.

Have you ever traveled with your baby? Does this incident change your mind about holding a child on your lap during flights?


Image via abdallahh/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Lovingmama

Baby wear! Your baby is strapped to you and more likely to take a nap during the flight if they are secured to mama or papa.

Taisie Taisie

Babies and small children should never be allowed to fly on a parents lap, in my opinion. They should always be required to be in a car seat properly strapped to the plane seat, until they reach an age where they can be safely strapped to the plane seat alone.

Like I said, this is just my opinion :)

Samira Davis

i flew with my 7 month old son last year on a 14 hour flight. 1st things first, the plane crew is required by law to give you the infant seat belt that straps down to your seat belt so that they can be safe during the flight. Now having been there, i do realize how hard it is to keep a small child or toddler strapped down for hours at the time, but i did what i had to do and kept him seat belted most of the flight, or had him in his baby carrier strapped to me, and especially during landing and takeoff. I understand the situation in the article was scary but the mother should have been more prepared and should have gotten more informed about what to do to keep her kid safe on the plane. you know the risks that can happen on the plane when you get on it, that's why you have to sit there and watch safety videos and demonstrations when the flight begins. As a responsible parent, you should always be prepared for the worse.

Frost... FrostyMelted

Babies should be in a car seat just like they are in a car. Unrestrained lap children have been killed while their restrained parents have survived. The FAA is irresponsible and negligent in allowing this situation to continue. 

ashjo85 ashjo85

I've always coughed up money for the extra seat and buckled them in the car seat. We need it anyway when we get where we're going, and she always seemed happier sitting in a familiar seat.

nonmember avatar Beti

If I was the mother I'd sue the crap out of the airline!!!! This story makes me so mad..negligent airline!

Ellen Waltos

I had my son strapped to me on an American Airlines flight and was told I couldn't have him attached to me. Of coarse I complied but as soon as the lady left I strapped him back to me!

ashjo85 ashjo85

Wait. Parents are too cheap to purchase that extra seat, so the AIRLINE is negligent? Take responsibility for yourselves, people! Rather than suing the airline and making travel even more expensive for the rest of us.

nonmember avatar SickOfHearingIt

It's a basic law of physics. Buy a seat and don't blame the airlines for science. This was the entire plot of Rosie Perez's character in Fearless.

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